2Co 4:6 For it is God who said, “Out of darkness Light shall shine;” who shone in our hearts to give the brightness of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us;
God promised that light would shine forth out of the darkness and would overcome the darkness. This is true of all types of light, visible and spiritual. The sun gives visible light and Christ brought spiritual light. Christ’s Holy Spirit light guides hearts to follow Him and His words. His glory, in those following Him, is of great value, as a treasure, kept in the earthen vessels of our bodies. Knowing that the treasure came from and belongs to God prevents us, in pride, to take credit for our godly actions.
Paul spoke to the church at Corinth saying:
2Co 3:2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men,
2Co 3:3 it having been made plain that you are the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, not having been written with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not on tablets of stone, but in fleshly tablets of the heart.
2Co 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God,
2Co 3:5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God;
2Co 3:6 who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive.
God’s Holy Spirit within Christians makes them able ministers of God’s word because that word is written in their hearts. The word becomes visible by their actions, which are directed by the heart. We do not trust in ourselves to obtain good results from our actions, but wholly trust that God will make our actions bear fruit. The message, outwardly visible, is not of the requirements of the letter of the law (given in the Old Testament) but of grace through Christ which is more forgiving. Adhering strictly by nit picking to every requirement of the law kills the incentive to follow the law, but following Christ’s Spirit within encourages submission, in love, to become a new person in Christ.
2Co 3:7 But if the ministry of death, having been engraved in letters in stone was with glory (so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses because of the glory of his face), which was being done away;
2Co 3:8 shall not the ministry of the Spirit be with more glory?
2Co 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation is glorious, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory.
2Co 3:13 And we are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of the thing being done away.
2Co 3:14 (But their thoughts were blinded; for until the present the same veil remains on the reading of the old covenant, not taken away.) But this veil has been done away in Christ.
2Co 3:15 But until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart.
2Co 3:16 But whenever it turns to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.
2Co 3:17 And the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit.
The glory of God was strong on the face of Moses, thus he placed a veil over his face to protect the people. The condemnation of the penalty of sins described on the stone tablets was a temporary fix to guide the people of Israel. The condemnation led to a certain death because The Law was impossible to keep in all ways. Further, any failings in following the law carried the penalty of death.
The veil of the Old Testament also prevented the people from seeing God’s future plans for redemption through Christ. This same veil prevented Israel from accepting Jesus as God because they were guided only by the laws passed on through Moses. They could not relate Jesus to the message of a coming redeemer even though His life completely fulfilled prophecy.
Christ coming and message did away with the veil of Moses and allows the New Testament to guide people by external grace from Jesus’s sacrifice and internal leading and intercession through God’s Holy Spirit. Praise God!